Hosni Mubarak

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Hosni Mubarak
حسنى مبارك
Hosni Mubarak ritratto.jpg
4th President of Egypt
In office
14 October 1981 – 11 February 2011
Prime Minister
Vice President Omar Suleiman[a] (2011)
Preceded by Sufi Abu Taleb (Acting)
Succeeded by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (acting)
Mohamed Morsi [1][2][3]
Prime Minister of Egypt
In office
7 October 1981 – 2 January 1982
Preceded by Anwar Sadat
Succeeded by Ahmad Fuad Mohieddin
Vice President of Egypt
In office
16 April 1975 – 14 October 1981
President Anwar Sadat
Preceded by Hussein el-Shafei
Succeeded by Omar Suleiman[a]
Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
16 July 2009 – 11 February 2011
Preceded by Raúl Castro
Succeeded by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (Acting)
Commander of the Air Force
In office
23 April 1972 – 16 April 1975
President Anwar Sadat
Preceded by Ali Mustafa Baghdady
Succeeded by Mahmoud Shaker
Director of the Egyptian Air Academy
In office
Preceded by Yahia Saleh Al-Aidaros
Succeeded by Mahmoud Shaker
Personal details
Born Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak
(1928-05-04) 4 May 1928 (age 85)
Kafr-El Meselha, Egypt
Political party National Democratic Party (1978-2011)
Spouse(s) Suzanne Thabet (1959–present)
Alma mater
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Allegiance Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt
Service/branch Eafflag.svg Egyptian Air Force
Years of service 1950–1975
Rank Air Chief Marshal[c]
Commands Cairo West Air Base
Beni Suef Air Base
Egyptian Air Academy
Egyptian Air Force
a. ^ Office vacant from 14 October 1981 to 29 January 2011
b. ^ as Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
c.^ c. military rank withdrawn after trial

Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak (Arabic: محمد حسني السيد مبارك‎, Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [mæˈħæmmæd ˈħosni (ʔe)sˈsæjjed moˈbɑːɾɑk], Muḥammad Ḥusnī Sayyid Mubārak ; born 4 May 1928) is a former Egyptian politician, leader and military commander. He served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011.

Mubarak was appointed Vice President of Egypt in 1975, and assumed the presidency on 14 October 1981, following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. His almost thirty-year presidency made him Egypt's longest-serving ruler since Muhammad Ali Pasha.[4] Before he entered politics, Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force, serving as its commander from 1972 to 1975 and rising to the rank of air chief marshal.

Mubarak was ousted after 18 days of demonstrations during the 2011 Egyptian revolution[5] when, on 11 February 2011, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had resigned as president and transferred authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.[6][7] On 13 April, a prosecutor ordered Mubarak and both his sons to be detained for 15 days of questioning about allegations of corruption and abuse of power.[8] He was then ordered to stand trial on charges of negligence for not giving orders to stop the killing of peaceful protestors during the revolution.[9] These trials officially began on 3 August 2011.[10] Egypt’s military prosecutors then also proclaimed that they were investigating Mubarak's role in the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat.[11][12]

On 2 June 2012, Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Egyptian court. After sentencing, he was reported to have suffered a series of health crises. As of 20 June 2012 (2012-06-20), multiple sources reported that he was very ill, with some reporting that he was in a coma, others stating that he had had a stroke or had been on life support.[13]



Early life and Air Force career[edit]

Mubarak was born on 4 May 1928,[14] in Kafr El-Meselha, Monufia Governorate, Egypt.

Upon completion of high school, he joined the Egyptian Military Academy, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Military Sciences in 1949.[citation needed] On 2 February 1949, Mubarak left the Military Academy and joined the Air Force Academy, gaining his commission as a pilot officer on 13 March 1950[15] and eventually receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Sciences.

As an Egyptian Air Force officer, Mubarak served in various formations and units, including two years when he served in a Spitfire fighter squadron.[15] Some time in the 1950s, he returned to the Air Force Academy, this time as an instructor, remaining there until early 1959.[15] From February 1959 to June 1961, Mubarak undertook further training in the Soviet Union, attending a Soviet pilot training school in Moscow and another at Kant Air Base, near Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan (then a Soviet republic), an airfield that is today home to the Russian 5th Air Army's 999th Air Base.

Mubarak undertook training on the Ilyushin Il-28 and Tupolev Tu-16 jet bomber, and then joined the Frunze Military Academy in 1964. On his return to Egypt, Mubarak served in wing and then base commander appointments, taking up command of the Cairo West Air Base in October 1966 before briefly commanding the Beni Suef Air Base.[15] In November 1967, Mubarak became the Air Force Academy's commander when he was credited with doubling the number of pilots and navigators in the Air Force during the pre-October War years.[16] Two years later he became Chief of Staff for the Egyptian Air Force.

Mubarak became Commander of the Air Force and Egyptian Deputy Minister of Defence in 1972. In the following year his military career reached its pinnacle when he was promoted to Air Chief Marshal in recognition of service during the October War of 1973.[15][17] Mubarak was credited in some publications for Egypt's initial strong performance in the 1973 war against Israel.[18] The Egyptian analyst Mohamed Hassanein Heikal gave a different evaluation of the role of the Air Force in 1973 from that of Mubarak and his supporters. Heikal argued that the Air Force played a mostly psychological role in the war, providing an inspirational sight for the Egyptian ground troops that carried out the crossing of the Suez Canal, rather than for any military necessity.[19] The role of Mubarak was further disputed by Shahdan El-Shazli, the daughter of the former Egyptian military Chief of Staff Saad el-Shazly. She alleged that Mubarak exaggerated his role in the 1973 war. In an interview with the Egyptian independent newspaper Almasry Alyoum (26 February 2011), El-Shazli claimed that Mubarak altered documents to take credit for the initial success of the Egyptian forces in 1973 from her father. She alleged that even photographs pertaining to the discussions in the military command room were altered, so that the pictures of Saad El-Shazli were erased and replaced by Mubarak. She stated she intends to take legal action.[20]

Vice President of Egypt[edit]

In April 1975, Mubarak was appointed by Sadat as Vice President of Egypt. In this position, he loyally served Sadat's policies. He took part in government consultations that dealt with the future disengagement of forces agreement with Israel.[21]

As part of his support for Sadat's policies, he went in early September 1975 on a mission to Riyadh, and Damascus to convince the Saudi Arabian, and Syrian governments to accept the disengagement agreement signed with the Israeli government ("Sinai II"), but was refused a meeting by the Syrian President, Hafez Al-Assad.[22][23]

In addition, Mubarak was sent by Sadat to numerous meetings with foreign leaders.[24] Mubarak's political significance as Vice-President can be seen from the fact that at a conversation held on 23 June 1975 between Foreign Minister Fahmy and US Ambassador Hermann Eilts, Fahmy said to Eilts that "Mobarek [sic] is, for the time being at least, likely to be a regular participant in all sensitive meetings" and he advised the Ambassador not to antagonize Mubarak, as he was Sadat's personal choice.[22]

President of Egypt[edit]

During the assassination of President Sadat in October 1981 by soldiers led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli, Mubarak was one of the injured. However, there have been repeated reports that Sadat was assassinated by a plot in which Mubarak was complicit. Most of these assertions have come from Sadat's daughter Ruquya. In 2013, Ruquya told Al Arabiya that "about one year to one and a half years before the assassination of my father, there were reports of a conspiracy to overthrow him and it was Israeli intelligence who informed my father. Anwar Sadat, when he used to get cold, he delegates the vice presidents to run the country's affairs. When he used to travel, he used to do the same thing and it was clear that Mubarak attempted to hold power early on."[25] Ruquya also claimed that Mubarak and high ranking figures in the Egyptian Defense Ministry were planning another attempt to overthrow Sadat one month before his assassination,[25] but the attempt failed to take place because Sadat's British ambassador had informed the Sadat family before it could be initiated.[25]

A recently published historical novel, "The Search for the Lost Army: The National Geographic and Harvard University Expedition," by Gary S. Chafetz, presents somewhat compelling circumstantial evidence that Mubarak was indeed involved. Despite the close political relationship between Mubarak and Sadat, it was acknowledged that the two clashed on how to properly govern Egypt.[26] While Sadat favored improving relations with Western countries at a quick pace, Mubarak felt it was best not to rush this objective without support from domestic advisors or regional nations.[26]

Sadat's decision to make peace with Israel through the Camp David Accords-which resulted in the transfer of the large Sinai Peninsula back to Egyptian control- was highly welcomed among most Egyptians,[27] However, most nations in the Middle East rejected the peace initiative, believing it did not properly address the Palestine statehood issue.[27] Improved relations with the West would soon give Egypt a resilient economic growth,[27] but trade and diplomatic relations with neighboring Arab countries were now strained and the country would suffer from huge inflation by 1980.[27] In reaction to the Camp David Accords, Egypt was expelled from the Arab League and all Arab ambassadors were recalled from Cairo. Mubarak, who had developed close friendships with influential figures in the Arab world,[28] criticized Sadat for failing to mend ties with the regional Arab nations.[28]

In the final months of Sadat's life, chaos ensued across the country.[27] Sadat, who was still highly popular in Egypt,[27] dismissed allegations that the rioting was incited by domestic issues and felt that the Soviet Union was recruiting regional allies Libya and Syria to incite an uprising against him and force him out of power.[27] Following a failing coup against him in June 1981, Sadat ordered a major crackdown.[27] Over 1,300 opposition politicians were jailed by Sadat as a precaution. The country seemed headed toward destabilization and chaos. The Shah of Iran had just fallen two years earlier, with catastrophic results for the West—the United States and Israel, in particular—and for Iran's power elite, who were summarily executed or had to flee the country. There were legitimate fears that the same Islamic fundamentalist revolution was about to seize control of Egypt—the Middle East's most populous nation with its largest army.

As author Chafetz in "The Search for the Lost Army" points out, on 7 October 1981, a photograph appeared on the front page of The New York Times, above the story reporting Sadat's assassination. This photo shows Hosni Mubarak to Sadat's immediate right and Defense Minister Abu Ghazala to Sadat's immediate left (taken by Sadat's official photographer, who was also killed in the attack), moments before Sadat was assassinated. Sadat, Mubarak, and Abu Ghazala are sitting together, shoulder to shoulder. About 40 people were killed and wounded in the attack, and yet neither Mubarak nor Abu Ghazala was wounded. (Mubarak claimed to have injured his thumb, and Abu Ghazala proffered a military cap with a bullet hole through it.) Author Chafetz alleges that it seems inconceivable that Mubarak and Abu Ghazala did not have advance notice. In other words, the intelligence services knew of the plot and allowed it to succeed. As a result, neither Mubarak nor Abu Ghazala was killed or injured, because they had time—just as the attack began—to quickly throw themselves down to the base of the five-foot red granite wall that separated the front-row dignitaries from the parade grounds full of passing soldiers and military equipment.

By coincidence, several supersonic Mirage jets happened to be flying by overhead, distracting everyone in the reviewing stands and drowning out the machine-gun fire, just as the four assassin soldiers launched their attack. Furthermore, Sadat's personal bodyguards did virtually nothing to stop it. This allowed one of the assassins to actually reach the granite wall, stand on tiptoes, and fire down onto Sadat's body with his machine gun. During the assassination, Islambouli's gun jammed when he tried to fire his first shot at the Egyptian President, but was somehow able to make it back into his vehicle and pick up another gun without being stopped by security forces.[29] Talaat El Sadat, the late president's nephew, told CNN in 2011 that he too believed Mubarak played a role in the assassination, claiming that "He benefits the most from the killing, assisted by the Americans and the Israelis."[29] Hours after the assassination, Mubarak, the presumptive president, eulogized Sadat in a nationally televised address, in which Mubarak stated that "all treaties and charters" would be honored. If Sadat's assassination was a conspiracy, then it can be inferred that he had to be sacrificed to preserve the Camp David Accords and peace in the Middle East. Which is exactly what occurred for the next three decades until Mubarak's ouster in 2011.[30]

Following Sadat's death, Mubarak became the fourth president of Egypt, and the chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP). He was the longest serving Egyptian president, his term lasting 29 years.

Egypt's return to the Arab League[edit]

Mubarak in Berlin in 1989

Until Libya's suspension from the Arab League at the beginning of the Libyan civil war, Egypt was the only state in the history of the organisation to have had its membership suspended, due to President Sadat's peace treaty with Israel. However, in 1989, eight years after Sadat's assassination, Egypt was re-admitted as a full member, and the League's headquarters were relocated to their original location in Cairo.[31]

Gulf War of 1991[edit]

Egypt was a member of the allied coalition in the 1991 Gulf War, and Egyptian infantry were some of the first to land in Saudi Arabia to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Egypt's involvement in the coalition was deemed by the US government as crucial in garnering wider Arab support for the liberation of Kuwait.

In addition to further solidifying Egypt's central role in the Arab World, the participation of Egyptian forces brought financial benefits for the Egyptian government. Reports that sums as large as $500,000 per soldier were paid or debt forgiven were published in the news media. According to The Economist:

"The programme worked like a charm: a textbook case, says the IMF. In fact, luck was on Hosni Mubarak's side; when the US was hunting for a military alliance to force Iraq out of Kuwait, Egypt's president joined without hesitation. After the war, his reward was that America, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and Europe forgave Egypt around $20 billion of debt."[32]

Governing style[edit]

Throughout the 1980s Mubarak increased the production of affordable housing, clothing, furniture, and medicine. He also kept a close eye on his officials, firing ministers at the first hint of wrongdoing and fining members of parliament for unnecessary absences. Egypt's heavy dependence on U.S. aid and her hopes for U.S. pressure on Israel for a Palestinian settlement continued under Mubarak. He also quietly improved relations with the former Soviet Union. In 1987 Mubarak won election to a second six-year term. In his early years in power, Mubarak greatly expanded the Egyptian State Security Investigations Service (Mabahith Amn ad-Dawla) and Central Security Forces (anti-riot and containment forces).[33] According to author Tarek Osman, the experience of seeing his predecessor assassinated "right in front of him" and his much longer military career than Presidents Nasser or Sadat may have instilled in him more focus and absorption with security than seemed the case with either of those heads of the Egyptian state. Mubarak sought advice and confidence not in "leading ministers," "senior advisors" or "leading intellectuals", but from his security chiefs—various "interior ministers, army commanders, and the heads of the ultra-influential intelligence services."[34]

Because of his positions against Islamic fundamentalism and his diplomacy towards Israel, Mubarak was the target of repeated assassination attempts. According to the BBC, Mubarak survived a total of six attempts on his life. In June 1995 there was an alleged assassination attempt involving noxious gases and Egyptian Islamic Jihad while he was in Ethiopia for a conference of the Organization of African Unity.[35] Upon his return, Mubarak is said to have authorized bombings on Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya settlements, which by 1999 had seen 20,000 persons placed in detention related to the revolutionary Islamic organizations.[citation needed] He was also reportedly injured by a knife-wielding assailant in Port Said in September 1999.[36]

Stance on the invasion of Iraq in 2003[edit]

With the U.S. President, George W. Bush, in 2002

President Mubarak spoke out against the 2003 Iraq War, arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should have been resolved first. He also claimed that the war would cause "100 Bin Ladens."[37] However, as President he did not support an immediate US pull-out from Iraq as he believed it would lead to probable chaos.[38]

2005 elections[edit]

President Mubarak was re-elected by majority votes in a referendum for successive terms on four occasions: in 1987, 1993, and 1999. The referendum in itself and its results are of questionable validity[who?]. No one could run against the President due to a restriction in the Egyptian constitution in which the People's Assembly played the main role in electing the President of the Republic.

After increased domestic and international pressure for democratic reform in Egypt, Mubarak asked the parliament on 26 February 2005 to amend the constitution to allow multi-candidate presidential elections by September 2005[citation needed]. Previously[when?], Mubarak secured his position by having himself nominated by parliament, then confirmed without opposition in a referendum.

The September 2005 ballot was, therefore, a multiple candidate election rather than a referendum, but the electoral institutions, and security apparatus remain under the control of the President. The official state media, including the three government newspapers and state television also express views identical to the official line taken by Mubarak. In the last few years however, the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif has been somewhat successful in turning things around. According to the List of countries by Human Development Index Egypt ranks 111th out of 177 countries, and rates 0.702 on the index.

On 28 July 2005, Mubarak announced his candidacy, as he had been widely expected to do. The election which was scheduled for 7 September 2005 involved mass rigging activities, according to civil organizations that observed the elections.[39] Reports[citation needed] have shown that Mubarak's party used government vehicles to take public employees to vote for him. Votes were bought for Mubarak in poor suburbs and rural areas. It was also reported that thousands of illegal votes were allowed for Mubarak from citizens who were not registered to vote. On 8 September 2005, Ayman Nour, a dissident and candidate for the El-Ghad Party ("Tomorrow party"), contested the election results, and demanded a repeat of the election.

In a move widely seen as political persecution, Nour was convicted of forgery and sentenced to five years at hard labor on 24 December 2005.[40] On the day of Nour's guilty verdict and sentencing, the White House Press Secretary released the following statement denouncing the government's action:

"The United States is deeply troubled by the conviction today of Egyptian politician Ayman Nour by an Egyptian court. The conviction of Dr. Nour, the runner-up in Egypt's 2005 presidential elections, calls into question Egypt's commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law. We are also disturbed by reports that Mr. Nour's health has seriously declined due to the hunger strike on which he has embarked in protest of the conditions of his trial and detention. The United States calls upon the Egyptian government to act under the laws of Egypt in the spirit of its professed desire for increased political openness and dialogue within Egyptian society, and out of humanitarian concern, to release Mr. Nour from detention."[41]

According to Reporters Without Borders; Egyptian media ranks 133 out of 168 in freedom of the press,[42] showing an improvement of 10 places from 2005.

State corruption during Mubarak's presidency[edit]

While in office, political corruption in the Mubarak administration's Ministry of the Interior rose dramatically.[clarification needed] Political figures and young activists were imprisoned without trials,[43] illegal undocumented hidden detention facilities were established,[44][45] and universities, mosques, and newspaper staff were rejected based on political inclination.[46][clarification needed] Officers were allowed to violate citizens' privacy by using unconditioned arrests according to the emergency law.[citation needed]

In 2005 Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that conducts research into democracy, reported that the Egyptian government under Mubarak expanded bureaucratic regulations, registration requirements, and other controls that often feed corruption. Whenever Egyptians face such controls, money is usually required for the signature or relevant approval. Compounding the normal bureaucratic culture is the state ownership of many or most institutions of banking and finance, tourism, oil, the Suez Canal, manufacturing, the media, and so on. Government employees received low wages, while a decreasing minority of Egyptians achieved increasingly vast wealth, thus creating a growing income gap between the classes, and causing the supposed middle class to be squeezed to the smallest minority between the rich and the poor. Freedom House claimed that "corruption remained a significant problem under Mubarak, who promised to do much, but in fact neither did anything significant to tackle it effectively."[47]

In 2010, Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index report assessed Egypt with a CPI score of 3.1, based on perceptions of the degree of corruption from business people and country analysts, with 10 being very clean and 0 being highly corrupt. Egypt ranked 98th out of the 178 countries included in the report.[48]

Emergency law rule[edit]

Egypt has been a semi-presidential republic under Emergency Law (Law No. 162 of 1958)[49] since 1967, except for an 18-month break in the 1980s (which ended with the assassination of Anwar Sadat). Under the law, police powers were extended, constitutional rights suspended and censorship was legalized.[50] The law sharply circumscribed any non-governmental political activity: street demonstrations, non-approved political organizations, and unregistered financial donations were banned. Some 17,000 people were detained under the law, and estimates of political prisoners ran as high as 30,000.[51] Under the "state of emergency", the government had the right to imprison individuals for any length of time without trial. The government claimed that opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood could come into power in Egypt if parliamentary elections occurred. The government confiscated the group's main financiers' possessions, and detained group figureheads.[52] Pro-democracy advocates in Egypt argued that this went against the principles of democracy, which included a citizen's right to a fair trial and their right to vote for whichever candidate and/or party they deemed fit to run their country.[citation needed]

Presidential succession[edit]

Gamal Mubarak, son of Hosni Mubarak

In 2009, US Ambassador Margaret Scobey reported uncertainty regarding presidential succession, stating "Despite incessant whispered discussions, no one in Egypt has any certainty about who will eventually succeed Mubarak nor under what circumstances."[53] She listed likely candidates, saying, "The most likely contender is presidential son Gamal Mubarak (whose profile was ever-increasing at the ruling party, until that party collapsed during The Egyptian Revolution of 2011); some suggested that intelligence chief Omar Suleiman might seek the office, or dark horse[clarification needed] Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa might run. Mubarak's ideal of a strong but fair leader would seem to discount Gamal Mubarak to some degree, given Gamal's lack of military experience, and may explain Mubarak's hands off approach to the succession question."[53] President Mubarak and his son denied this, "saying [that] a multi-candidate electoral system introduced in 2005 has made the political process more transparent."[54] Nigerian Tribune journalist Abiodun Awolaja described a would-be succession by Gamal Mubarak as a "hereditary pseudo-monarchy".[55] Ambassador Scobey summarised Mubarak's vision of the presidential succession, stating, "Indeed, he seems to be trusting to God and the ubiquitous military and civilian security services to ensure an orderly transition."[53] The National Democratic Party of Egypt continued to state that Hosni Mubarak was to be the party's only candidate to the 2011 Presidential Elections. Mubarak declared on 1 February 2011 that he had no intention to run in the presidential race at the end of 2011. When this declaration failed to ease the protests, Mubarak's vice president stated that Gamal Mubarak, the son, would not run for president. With the escalation of the demonstration and the fall of Mubarak, a former influential figure in the National Democratic Party, Hamdy El-Sayed, claimed that Gamal Mubarak intended to forcibly take over his father's position, assisted by then Interior Minister, Habib El-Adly.[56]

Israeli–Palestinian conflict[edit]

Mubarak was involved in the Arab League, supporting Arab efforts to achieve a lasting peace in the region. At the Beirut Summit, on 28 March 2002 the league adopted the Arab Peace Initiative,[57] a Saudi-inspired peace plan for the Arab–Israeli conflict. The initiative offered full normalization of relations with Israel. In exchange, the league demanded Israel withdraw from all occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, recognize an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees. The Peace Initiative was again endorsed at the Riyadh Summit. In July 2007, the Arab League sent a mission, consisting of the Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers, to Israel to promote the initiative.

1 September 2010. During Middle East negotiations, Mubarak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel look at their watches to see if it is officially sunset; during Ramadan, Muslims fast until sunset.

On 19 June 2008, the Egypt-brokered "lull" or pause in hostilities between Israel and Hamas went into effect.[58] The term "lull" is a translation of the Arabic term Tahdia.[59] According to The New York Times, neither side fully respected the terms of the cease-fire.[60]

The agreement required Hamas to end rocket attacks on Israel and to enforce the lull throughout Gaza. In exchange, Hamas expected the blockade to end, commerce in Gaza to resume, and truck shipments to be restored to 2005 levels, which was between 500 and 600 trucks per day.[60][61] Israel tied easing of the blockade to a reduction in rocket fire and gradually re-opened supply lines and permitted around 90 daily truck shipments to enter Gaza, up from around 70 per day.[62] Hamas criticized Israel for its continued blockade[63] while Israel accused Hamas of continued weapons smuggling via tunnels to Egypt and pointed to continued rocket attacks.[60]

However, when conflict again ensued during the Gaza War, Egypt's foreign minister stated that Hamas had brought it upon itself.

In 2009, Mubarak's government banned the Cairo Anti-war Conference, which had criticised his lack of action against Israel.[64]

Revolution and overthrow[edit]

Massive protests centered on Cairo's Tahrir Square led to Mubarak's resignation in February 2011.

Mass protests against Mubarak and his regime erupted in Cairo and other Egyptian cities on 25 January 2011. On 1 February, Mubarak announced he would not contest the presidential election due in September. He also promised constitutional reform.[65] This did not satisfy the majority of protesters, who expected Mubarak to depart immediately.[66] The demonstrations continued and on 2 February, violent clashes occurred between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak protestors.[67]

On 10 February, contrary to rumours,[68] Mubarak asserted that he would not resign until the September election, though he would be delegating responsibilities to Vice President Omar Suleiman. The next day, Suleiman announced that Mubarak had resigned.[6] The announcement sparked cheers, flag-waving, and celebrations from protesters in Egypt after Mubarak's announcement of resignation. Discussions began about the nation's future direction.[69] It had been suggested that Egypt be put in the hands of a caretaker government.[70] A few hours prior to the resignation announcement, reports surfaced suggesting the ousted president and his immediate family had left Cairo for Sharm el-Sheikh.


On 25 January 2011, protests against Mubarak and his government erupted in Cairo and around Egypt calling for Mubarak's resignation.[69] Mubarak stated in a speech that he would not leave, and would die on Egyptian soil. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei paid no attention to Mubarak's remarks[69] and labeled it as a trick designed to help Mubarak to stay in power.[70] In a state televised broadcast on 1 February 2011, Mubarak announced that he would not seek re-election in September but would like to finish his current term and promised constitutional reform. This compromise was not acceptable for the protestors and violent demonstrations occurred in front of the Presidential Palace. On 11 February, then Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Mubarak had resigned and that power would be turned over to the Egyptian military.

Two and a half hours after Mubarak's resignation, an Egyptian military member came on air and thanked Mubarak for "putting the interests of the country first." The statement, which said "The Supreme Council is currently studying the situation," did not state what the council would do next.[71]


Following his resignation, Mubarak did not make any media appearances. With the exception of family and a close circle of aides, he reportedly refused to talk to anyone, even his supporters. His health was speculated to be rapidly deteriorating with some reports even alleging him to be in a coma. Most sources claimed that he was no longer interested in performing any duties and wanted to "die in Sharm El-Sheikh."[72][73]

On 28 February 2011, the General Prosecutor of Egypt issued an order prohibiting Mubarak and his family from leaving Egypt. It was reported that the former president was in contact with his lawyer in case of possible criminal charges against him.[74] As a result, Mubarak and his family had been under house arrest at a presidential palace in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.[75] On 13 April 2011, a prosecutor originally appointed by Mubarak ordered the former president and both his sons to be detained for 15 days of questioning about allegations of corruption and abuse of power amidst growing suspicion that the Egyptian military was more aligned with the Mubaraks than with the revolution. Gamal and Alaa were jailed in Tora Prison, while state television reported that Mubarak was in police custody in a hospital near his residence following a heart attack.[8] Former Israeli Cabinet minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer told Israeli Radio that he had offered Mubarak refuge in the southern Israeli city of Eilat.[76]

On 11 May 2013, he told El-Watan in his first media appearance since his ouster said: "History will judge and I am still certain that the coming generations will view me fairly." He added that President Mohammed Morsi faced a tough time and that it was too early to judge him.[77]


Mubarak being interviewed by Voice of America from behind the bars.

On 24 May 2011, Mubarak was ordered to stand trial on charges of premeditated murder of peaceful protestors during the 2011 Egyptian revolution and, if convicted, could face the death penalty. The decision to try Mubarak was made days before a scheduled protest in Tahrir Square. The full list of charges released by the public prosecutor was "intentional murder, attempted killing of some demonstrators...misuse of influence and deliberately wasting public funds and unlawfully making private financial gains and profits."[9]

On 28 May, a Cairo administrative court found him guilty of damaging the national economy during the protests by shutting down the Internet and telephone services. He was fined LE200 million (about US$33.6 million), which the court ordered he must pay from his personal assets. This was the first court ruling against Mubarak, who would next have to answer to the murder charges.[78][79]

The trial of Hosni Mubarak and his two sons, Ala'a and Gamal, along with former interior minister Habib el-Adly and six former top police officials began on 3 August 2011 at a temporary criminal court at the Police Academy in north Cairo. They were charged with corruption and the premeditated killing of peaceful protestors during the mass movement to oust the Mubarak government, the latter of which carries the death penalty.[80] The trial was broadcast on Egyptian television, with Mubarak making a surprise first appearance since his resignation, brought in on a hospital bed and held in a cage for the session. Upon reading out the charges to him, Mubarak pleaded not guilty, denying responsibility for the charges against him. Judge Ahmed Refaat adjourned the court, ruling that Mubarak be transferred under continued arrest to the military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo, with the second session scheduled for 15 August.[81] On 15 August, the trial was resumed. It lasted three hours, at the conclusion of which Rifaat determined that the third session would take place on 5 September and that the remainder of the proceedings would be off-limits to television cameras.[82]

Riot police outside the courthouse where Mubarak was being sentenced. 2 June 2012.

The trial began again in December 2011 and lasted until January 2012. The defense strategy was that Mubarak never actually resigned, was still president, and thus had immunity.[83] On 2 June 2012, Mubarak was found guilty of not putting a stop to the killing of protesters by the Egyptian security forces and sentenced to life imprisonment.[84] The court found Mubarak not guilty of ordering the crackdown on Egyptian protesters. All other charges against Mubarak, including profiteering and economic fraud, were dismissed. Mubarak's two sons, Habib el-Adly, and six senior police officials were all acquitted for their role in the killings of demonstrators due to lack of evidence.[85] According to The Guardian, the relatives of those killed by Mubarak's forces were angered by the verdict.[86][87] Thousands of demonstrators protested the verdict in Tahrir Square, Arbein Square and Al-Qaed Ibrahim Square.[87]

In January 2013, an appeals court overturned his life sentence, and ordered a retrial.[88] He will however remain in custody. Mubarak returned to court on May 11, 2013 for a retrial on charges of complicity in the murder of protesters.[89]

Health problems[edit]

In July 2010, the media speculated "Egypt is on the cusp of dramatic change", because Mubarak was thought to be afflicted by cancer, and because of the scheduled 2011 presidential election. While intelligence sources suggested that he suffered from esophageal cancer,[90] stomach or pancreatic cancer, it was denied by Egyptian authorities.[91][92] Speculation about his ill health flared up with his resignation on 11 February 2011.[93] According to Egyptian media, Mubarak's condition worsened after he went into exile in Sharm el-Sheikh. Mubarak was reportedly depressed, refused to take medications, and was slipping in and out of consciousness. According to the source, an unnamed Egyptian security official, "Mubarak wants to be left alone and die in his homeland". The source also denied that Mubarak was writing his memoirs, stating that he was in a state of almost complete unconsciousness.[94] After his February 2011 resignation, Egypt's ambassador to the United States Sameh Shoukry reported that his personal sources said Mubarak "is possibly in somewhat of bad health", while several Egyptian and a Saudi Arabian newspapers reported that Mubarak was near death and in a coma.[95] On 12 April 2011, it was reported that Mubarak had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack during questioning over possible corruption charges.[96]

In June 2011, Mubarak's lawyer Farid el-Deeb disclosed that his client "has stomach cancer, and the cancer is growing."[97] Mubarak had undergone surgery for the condition in Germany the year prior and also suffered from circulatory problems with an irregular heart beat.[97] On 13 July 2011, unconfirmed reports stated that Mubarak had slipped into a coma at his residence after giving his final speech, and on 17 July, el-Deeb confirmed the reports.[98] On 26 July 2011, Mubarak was reported to be depressed and refusing solid food while in the hospital being treated for a heart condition and in custody awaiting trial.[99]

On 2 June 2012, Mubarak was reported as having suffered a health crisis on being transported to prison after his conviction on the charges of complicity in the killing of protestors. Some sources reported he had a heart attack.[100][101] Further reports have stated that Mubarak's health has continued to decline, with some stating that he has had to be treated with a defibrillator.[102][103] As of 20 June 2012 (2012-06-20), multiple sources reported that he remains very seriously ill, with some reporting he is in a coma, others stating he had a stroke, or had been on life support.[13] Earlier reports of him being clinically dead have not been supported by other sources.[104][105]

On 27 December 2012, Mubarak was taken from Torah Prison to a military hospital after falling and breaking a rib. As of 12 January 2013, he was still in the military hospital.

Personal life[edit]

Hosni Mubarak is married to Suzanne Mubarak, and has two sons: Alaa, and Gamal.

Mubarak in 2003.

Wealth and allegations of personal corruption[edit]

In February 2011, ABC News reported that experts believed the personal wealth of Mubarak and his family to be between US$40 billion and $70 billion founded on military contracts made during his time as an air force officer.[106] Britain's The Guardian newspaper also reported that Mubarak and his family might be worth up to $70 billion due to corruption, kickbacks and legitimate business activities. The money was said to be spread out in various bank accounts at home and abroad, including Switzerland and Britain, and also invested in foreign property. The newspaper admitted, however, that some of the information regarding the family's wealth might be ten years old.[107] According to Newsweek, these allegations are poorly substantiated and lack credibility.[108] On 17 March 2011, Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate, officially confirmed that the government of the United States froze assets worth $31 billion belonging to Mubarak, including property and bank accounts.[109] Kerry later retracted his statement, saying he meant to refer to Muammar Gaddafi, not Mubarak.

On 12 February 2011, the government of Switzerland announced that it was freezing the Swiss bank accounts of Mubarak and his family.[110] On 20 February 2011, the Egyptian Prosecutor General ordered the freezing of Mubarak's assets and the assets of his wife Suzanne, his sons Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, and his daughters-in-law Heidi Rasekh and Khadiga Gamal. The Prosecutor General also ordered the Egyptian Foreign Minister to communicate this to other countries where Mubarak and his family could have assets. This order came two days after Egyptian newspapers reported that Mubarak filed his financial statement.[111] Egyptian regulations mandate government officials submit a financial statement listing total assets and sources of income during government work. On 21 February 2011, the Egyptian Military Council, which was temporarily given the presidential authorities following the 25 January 2011 Revolution, declared no objection to a trial of Mubarak on charges of corruption.[112] On 23 February 2011, the Egyptian newspaper Eldostor reported that a "knowledgeable source" described the order of the Prosecutor General for freezing Mubarak's assets, and the threats of a legal action, as nothing but a signal for Mubarak to leave Egypt after a number of attempts were made to encourage him to leave willingly.[113] In February 2011, Voice of America reported that Egypt's top prosecutor had ordered a travel ban and an asset freeze for Mubarak and his family, as he considered further action.[114]

Political and military posts[edit]

  • Chairman of the Non-aligned Movement
  • Re-elected for a fifth term of office (2005)
  • Chairman of the G-15 (1998 & 2002)
  • Re-elected for a fourth term of office (1999)
  • Chairman of the Arab Summit since June (1996)
  • Chairman of the OAU (1993–94)
  • Re-elected for a third term of office (1993)
  • Chairman of the OAU (1989–90)
  • Re-elected for a second term of office (1987)
  • President of the National Democratic Party (1982)
  • President of the Republic (1981)
  • Vice-President of the National Democratic Party (NDP) (1979)
  • Vice-President of the Arab Republic of Egypt (1975)
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General / Air Marshal (1974)
  • Commander of the Air Force and Deputy Minister of Defense (1972)
  • Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1969)
  • Director of the Air Force Academy (1968)
  • Commander of Cairo West Air Base (1964)
  • Joined Frunze Military Academy, USSR (1964)
  • Lecturer in Air Force Academy (1952–59)


  • Mubarak was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 1995.[115]
  • Honor Star Medal twice.[116]
  • Military Training medal.[116]
  • Military Honor Medal Knight Rank from the President of Syria.[116]
  • Honor Star Medal from the PLO.[116]
  • Decoration of King Abdul Aziz-Excellent Degree from King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saoud.[116]
  • Hamayon Merit from Emperor Mohamed Reda Bahlawy [Muhammad Reza Phalavi, Iran].[116]


A monument to Hosni Mubarak was erected in 2007 in Xırdalan (Azerbaijan).[117] The Azerbaijani Musavat party called for its demolition in order to avoid idolatry. The monument was then taken down and a statue symbolising Egypt and ancient Egyptian culture was erected instead.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Yahia Saleh Al-Aidaros
Director of the Egyptian Air Academy
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Shaker
Preceded by
Ali Mustafa Baghdady
Commander of the Egyptian Air Force
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Shaker
Political offices
Preceded by
Hussein el-Shafei
Vice President of Egypt
Title next held by
Omar Suleiman
Preceded by
Anwar El Sadat
Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Ahmad Fuad Mohieddin
Preceded by
Sufi Abu Taleb
President of Egypt
Succeeded by
Mohamed Morsi
Party political offices
Preceded by
Anwar El Sadat
Chairman of the National Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Ahmed Shafik
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Moussa Traoré
Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity
Succeeded by
Yoweri Museveni
Preceded by
Abdou Diouf
Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity
Succeeded by
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Preceded by
Raúl Castro
Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
Succeeded by
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi